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Arizona State and Ryggs Johnston (63) go low in front of Reavie

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Arizona State carded 23 birdies to climb the NCAA Championship leaderboard on Saturday at Grayhawk Golf Club.

Chez Reavie had a front-row seat.

The PGA Tour winner and former Sun Devil hoofed all 18 holes following senior Kevin Yu, who shot 1-over 71, and then stayed afterward to congratulate the crew after a 2-under 278 efficiency that moved Arizona State additional inside the highest eight at 2 over.

“It was hard watching them because I wanted to chime in, scream at them and give them help and advice, but it was a great time out there rooting them on,” Reavie mentioned. “It was the first time I’ve really been out and watched golf like that since I was a kid. I can see how parents get all nervous when they’re watching their kids play.”

Reavie, one of two professional Devils watching the motion Saturday (top-100 participant Chan Kim was the opposite), competed in three NCAA Championships for the Sun Devils. He tied for fourth on the 2001 NCAA Championship in Durham, North Carolina, and completed solo ninth two years later in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He turned professional in 2004 and six years later returned to high school to finish his political science diploma. (Chez for Prez?)

He mentioned he was impressed by how as we speak’s faculty gamers not solely hit the ball but in addition deal with their nerves.

“It’s refreshing and it’s great for me to see because it encourages me to keep working and trying to get better,” Reavie mentioned. “These guys aren’t afraid of it, they’re ready to go make birdies and charge and see what happens.”

No participant exemplified that time on Saturday higher than Arizona State sophomore Ryggs Johnston, who carded 9 birdies and fired a 7-under 63, the spherical of the event to date. He’s simply three again of particular person chief, Oklahoma State’s Bo Jin, who sits at 8 below after a second-round 65.

Arizona State head coach Matt Thurmond describes Johnston as a “low-number-shooting machine.” In his first two qualifying rounds this spring, Johnston additionally shot 63, at Papago and Southern Dunes.

“But 63 on this course today under these conditions is a whole new level for him,” Thurmond added. “I think a 68 is a world-class round out here right now, and to shoot 63, other teams and players are going to look at that and say, ‘How is that even possible?’”

Johnston’s recipe for achievement: choose good strains, make stable contact and gap a bunch of 8- to 12-footers. Having skilled winners out supporting doesn’t damage, both.

“Seeing [Chez and Chan] out here,” Johnston mentioned, “it gives you an energy boost, like, hey, these guys really care about us.”

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